A three-vehicle crash on Thursday, Dec. 15 has claimed the life of one Troy University student and hospitalized three other students.
Florida Highway Patrol reports indicate that a 2012 PT Cruiser, failed to stop at a traffic light at the intersection of State Road 79 and State Road 20 in Ebro, Florida. This resulted in a collision among the PT Cruiser, a box truck, and a tractor trailer.
The driver of the PT Cruiser, Troy student Sangam Subedi Al, 20, and two student passengers, Shraddha Takuri, 20, and Abhigya Ghimire, 18, were seriously injured and are being treated at Bay County Medical Center in Panama City, Florida.
Aslesha Pandit, a freshman computer science major from Nepal, was a passenger in the PT Cruiser. She was airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida for serious injuries. Pandit was pronounced dead on Friday, Dec. 16.
“The Troy University family expresses its sorrow in learning of the death of student Aslesha Pandit, 19, a Troy Campus student from Nepal,” Troy University said in an official statement on Dec. 19. “Our condolences are extended to her family, friends and our international student body. Her loss will be deeply felt.”
Rojan Maharjan, a freshman computer science major from Kathmandu, Nepal, described Pandit as a “great friend, always optimistic and helpful.”
According to Maharjan, Pandit could often be found in her room studying or watching movies with roommates. She enjoyed traveling and hanging out with friends.
“One of the fondest memories I have with Aslesha was during her birthday,” Maharjan said. “We had planned a surprise for her. It was during our first month in the U.S., so we didn’t have a car.”
Maharjan and his friends hid a cake in his apartment, which was a 25 minute walk for the group. They walked through downtown Troy, pretending there were no plans, as another friend decorated the apartment.
“Aslesha probably thought it was one of the worst birthdays she’d ever had until we finally got back to the apartment and surprised her,” Maharjan said. “She didn’t suspect a thing.”
Maharjan created a GoFundMe fundraising page for Pandit’s family on Dec. 18. The fundraising page pays tribute to Pandit, stating, “She had come to the U.S. from Nepal in the hopes of making her parents proud, but that dream, tragically, will remain just a dream.”
All money collected will be donated to Pandit’s parents to fund funeral rituals in Nepal. Three days after its creation, the donation page has already garnered over $5,600, with a goal of $15,000.
For more information on the fundraiser for Pandit’s family or to make a donation, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/help-for- asleshas-family.